Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Saint Kateri - Lily of the Mohawks

Saint Kateri – Lily of the Mohawks by Matthew and Margaret Bunson is a newer edition of a book that was first published in 1992. It was updated and rereleased in time for Kateri’s canonization on October 20, 2012.

The book begins with a beautiful foreword by Monsignor Paul Lenz. He was the vice-postulator for the cause of canonization of Kateri. This is followed by nearly a six page timeline starting with the settling of the Iroquois in New York through to St. Kateri’s canonization. I found the 8 ½ page introduction to be filled with interesting facts about the Saint and the process of sainthood.

The biography is then broken into three main sections – The Worlds of Saint Kateri, The Life of Saint Kateri and The Legacy of Saint Kateri. The first section encompasses three chapters. To me they read more like an early American history textbook than a biography and so I had difficulty staying focused.

The Life of Saint Kateri is the meat of the book and most enjoyable.  We learn of her life from birth to death. Although her mother was a Christian, she doesn’t appear to have been raised the same as her mother died from smallpox (as did her father and many others) when Kateri was about 4 years old. She was then raised by her uncle. Although her position should have required her to marry, her stubbornness paid off and she was never forced to do so. Kateri died when she was only 24 years old and even soon upon her death there was a miracle.

The Legacy of Saint Kateri mostly talks about what happens after her death but the first chapter is about her holiness as described by the priests that knew her.  We then learn about her burial and her appearances after her death. Most fascinating is the miracle that was attributed to her intercession and the one needed for her canonization.

If you enjoy saint biographies and early US History, you will enjoy Saint Kateri. I don’t know that many younger than high school age will appreciate this work.

I wrote this review of Saint Kateri for the free Catholic Book review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods. Aquinas and More is the largest on-line Catholic bookstore. I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

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